Free resources about the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission:
- Mission address and phone number
- Mission map
- Video interviews with returned missionaries
- Missionary blogs
- Facebook groups
- LDS Mission t-shirts and gifts
- List of past mission presidents
- Cultural articles written by returned missionaries
- Survey with RMs
Vanuatu Port Vila Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the Port Vila Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.
Vanuatu Port Vila Mission
PO Box 1412
Port Vila, Vanuatu
Phone Number: 678-23-146
Mission President: President Paul W. Granger
Vanuatu Port Vila Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the mission:
Videos with Port Vila RMs
Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Port Vila Mission. We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews. Coming soon..
LDS-Friendly Videos about Vanuatu
Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about Vanuatu. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about Vanuatu, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.
Vanuatu Port Vila Missionary Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Port Vila Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.
Vanuatu Port Vila Mission Groups
Here are Vanuatu Port Vila Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Port Vila Mission.
- Vanuatu Port Vila Mission Group (310 members)
Vanuatu Port Vila Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission!
Shirt designs include Port Vila Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL. The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.
*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Port Vila missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
Vanuatu Port Vila Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Port Vila Mission.
- 2015-2018, Paul W. Granger
- 2012-2015, Larry E. Brewer
Vanuatu LDS Statistics (2015)
- Church Membership: 6,693
- Missions: 1
- Temples: 0
- Congregations: 31
- Family History Centers: 2
Helpful Articles about Vanuatu
Vanuatu Port Vila Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from Port Vila RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.
When did you serve?
- 2013-2015 (Braeden)
- 2013-2015 (Smith)
- 2013-2015 (Alika)
- 2015-present (VaLynne)
- June 2012-June 2014 (Lopiseni)
- 2011-2013 (Beaumane)
What areas did you serve in?
- I served in mostly outer islands. Gaua (airport and Alaska) for 6 months, Tanna (whitesands) for 7, Ambae (Navuti/Lombori) for 9 and Santo(Sharpi) for my last 4 weeks. (Braeden)
- Saet Siwi, Tanna- Kaska, Gaua- Uripiv, Malekula- Lenakel/Ianapkasu/Greenpoint, Tanna- Nambatu (Number 2), Port Vila, Efate. (Smith)
- Green Hill, Tanna. Louni and Pankumo, Malekula. Sharpi and Ban Ban, Santo. Banks Island Group, primarily Gaua. (Beaumane)
What were some favorite foods?
- Kumala, tarro, simburo. (Braeden)
- Laplap Manioc. Maniok cooked with Maikarkar and coconut milk (also a little gritty from the ashes from the volcano). All the birds we would eat that the kids would bring over to cook. (They shot birds regularly with slingshots). (Smith)
- Flying Fox, Sea Turtle, Chicken, Corned beef, meat and local food…everything. (Alika)
- The small bananas here are sweeter and more flavorful than any I ever had from a store in the USA. Unfortunately the bananas were lost on the island of Efate during Cyclone Pam, so we have not had many since last March. In November/December to March or so, Efate also lost pineapple trees during Cyclone Pam. The pineapples are also very good, but the season is short. The Beef is so good here. The best cut is fillet, pronounced with a hard “t” unlike in the USA where it is pronounce “fi-lae”. There is a lot of French influence here, so I was surprised at learning how they say “fillet”. Pork and chicken are also good meats here in Vanuatu. (VaLynne)
- Pain au chocolat, Nems, Oro, Fois Gras, pain. (Lopiseni)
- Laplap maniok with pork inside, Tuluk Taro (all kinds), Nalot Taro, Nalot Breadfruit, Sanblong, Naura, Fish, Chicken, Rice and meat stew, Roasted Pig, Lobster, Fruit Bat, Cat, Dog, Sea Turtle, Shark, Mango. (Beaumane)
What was a funny experience?
- Too many. (Braeden)
- When I served on the island of Gaua, many appointments cancelled and we sat on the beach and saw someone snorkeling. To our surprise it was one of our investigators. He speared an octopus and brought it to shore and he was hammering it with stones to tenderize the meat and we had music playing on a speaker and my companion took a video of me and our investigator dancing with the octopus! That was only 1 of Hundreds of not Thousands of funny experiences! I’ve never laughed so much in my life! If you are going to Vanuatu, you are guaranteed to laugh everyday! (Smith)
- Zone training meetings. (Alika)
- Calling a steak a “fi-la” with the silent t rather than “fillet” as they call it here. When ordering a meal at a restaurant! Also pigs run around here like pets. I have even seen people sitting on the ground talking and pigs are playing close by. It is not unusual to see pigs, chickens and dogs all playing together. One thing that is very unusual is seeing a dog chase a car. I have seen it only once. Dogs just don’t chase cars like you see in the USA. (VaLynne)
- Going to Mont Dore. Every day with them was a fun trip. (Lopiseni)
What was a crazy/dangerous experience?
- Cyclone Pam. (Braeden)
- I survived a category 5 hurricane on the island of Tanna along with 10 other missionaries while I was a Zone Leader and afterwards the island was literally destroyed, there was no more shade or jungle, but only a handful of people died, to our astonishment, the majority of everyone was okay and not one member was harmed. (Smith)
- Being assaulted by a stranger. (Alika)
- Category 5+ Super Cyclone Pam. We had only been here five weeks and two days when it struck on Friday, March 13 (here in Vanuatu- Thursday, the 12th in the USA). Not only was it stronger than a 5, but also it sat and sat on the island of Efate before moving on to Tanna where it also did much damage. Many villages were flattened. All missionaries on Efate were in the mission home, but we could not get a hold of the missionaries in Tanna for several days after Pam moved on. No missionaries or members were injured in the storm but many members and some of the missionary homes were damaged beyond repair. (VaLynne)
- Riding the Betico to go in between the islands to save money on flights costs. It was definitely worth it. (Lopiseni)
- Being surrounded by an angry mob that was stirred up by a run away missionary. Spirit was strong and we got out of there with the runaway Elder safely, although we were very much prepared to fight. (Beaumane)
What was a spiritual experience?
- When my companion and I felt prompted to go to a village where we knew no one would be but we ended up teaching a family of 15. (Braeden)
- About a month after the hurricane passed, the Port Vila District had an invitational fast where everyone fasted to think of or find a non-member, friend, or less active member to bring to church on Easter Sunday, 2,546 people came to church that Sunday on the main island of Efate in Port Vila District! Over 850 were non-members who came and after that missionary work sky-rocketed, a month later we had 8 of our investigators get baptized and 5 more were baptized the next month. A Zone baptism was also held where 16 people were baptized in 1 day! After the events of the Hurricane and Easter Sunday everyone knew about The Church and everyone knew about the missionaries and our purpose. (Smith)
- Seeing the conversion of a formerly uninterested potential investigator. (Alika)
- The fact that so few injuries and deaths occurred during Pam. Less than 20, and most of those were non-native Vanuatuans who chose to ride out the storm in their boats, or in structures they had been warned were not safe. (VaLynne)
- Learning for yourself that everything that you were doing was for a reason and for the Lord. It’s unreal how satisfying it is. (Lopiseni)
- Teaching at the Santo prison. I was with Elder Joyce and Elder Gila, we taught about 30 prisoners who were detained for various crimes from theft to murder. It was nerve racking at first, because the only thing I could compare it to was the dangers of American prisons, which I’ve visited before. But when we sat down for “worship” as the guards called it. We taught a brief lesson, probably 15 minuets or so. But the Spirit was so strong in that room full of prisoners. Men of various faiths who’ve made mistakes in their life. The Spirit really testified to me that God loved these men and it was no sooner after that I could not help but love these men as well. It really testified to me the meaning of “The worth of souls is great in the eyes of God.” and “Keeping your eye single to the glory of God.” Which I believe is vital to missionary service when serving in the Lord’s way. (Beaumane)
What are some interesting facts about the Port Vila Mission?
- If you want to you can learn more than just the mission language (bislama not English) as every island and village has their own language. Not to mention if you serve in the Solomon Islands or New Caledonia you’re learning a different language too. (Braeden)
- It is one of the most diverse missions as it covers three different countries: The Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia, each are very diverse countries that all speak different languages and have and follow many different customs/traditions. The predominant language in Vanuatu is Bislama but each island has its own dialects in which the people speak, over 120 different indigenous languages are spoken in the country. Bislama is just a means for everyone to communicate. However some islands and areas in the country are so cut off from the outside world that they don’t know Bislama. The Solomon Islands and New Caledonia also have predominant languages spoken like “Solomon Pijin” and “French” but they too have indigenous languages in which the people speak. Each island has its diversities as well. (Smith)
- It has a diverse, rich culture, with many good people. (Alika)
- The Vanuatu Port Vila Mission was formed in 2012 when the Church added 58 new missions after the missionary age change. Before that, Vanuatu was part of the Fiji Suva Mission. There are 3 countries in our mission: Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands. French is spoken in New Caledonia, Bislama in Vanuatu and Pidginish in Solomon Islands. Generally if you are called to New Caledonia area of the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission you will learn French in the MTC and will not be working in the Port Vila area. I do know one missionary who transferred between Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, but that hasn’t happened often. (VaLynne)
- It’s in the Pacific and it’s French speaking. What more can you ask for? (Lopiseni)
- It served as an allied base of operations during the Second World War, in fact, I’ve found pictures of WWII Vanuatu, then known as New Hebrides. Chester W. Nimitz and Bull Halsey, both famous Admirals of the war in the Pacific are seen in a picture standing in front of the Marine Corp office in New Hebrides. (Beaumane)
What was the weather like?
- Very warm for the most part, unless your in the southern islands, they can get kind of chilly. (Braeden)
- There are two seasons- The hot and humid, and cold (somewhat hot) and dry season. It’s Hot and Humid for the most part, it depended on which island and which country though. New Caledonia gets somewhat hot but is cooler than Vanuatu. The nights are very nice and comfortable (unless you go to the north). Vanuatu’s southern island of Tanna was nice because it would be nice and cool (especially in the nighttime). Still would break a sweat walking in the sun and also up the mountain to our area. The Northern island of Gaua was very hot! We walked around and carried hand fans every day as it was so hot. It was hot, but Paradise for sure! Now the Solomon Islands is HOT! Hotter than the rest of the mission. It’s very hot and humid! For the most part the whole mission is hotter than the U.S.A. (besides the South) because of the humidity, but it’s actually not too bad as your body adjusts and gets used to it. Now I can sweat and never complain. (Smith)
- Hot and humid, with an occasional cyclone. (Alika)
- There are two seasons: wet and dry. The wet season is November through April and is hot and humid. The dry season May – October is “cold” and dry. Cold means averaging 23 C (73 F) and Hot 28 C (82 F). Lots of tourists come from Australia and New Zealand in the winter because it is warmer here than in those countries, and the water temperatures are warm enough to swim in during the winter. (VaLynne)
- It was sunny, humid, and basically what you’d expect out of an island for sure. (Lopiseni)
- Hot and humid with a side of rain and cyclone. (Beaumane)
Any things you really like about the area/people?
- The people are very caring and respectful. (Braeden)
- The people in Vanuatu are the nicest in the world! Their level of respect is very high and they treat everyone as family, there are no homeless people as everyone helps each other, they also live on small means and are happy. They live self-sustained lives where they have everything they need to build their thatched houses, plant their gardens, and the people don’t waste anything. To bathe they either do it in the ocean, in a river, or just use a cup and a bucket of water to bathe. And that’s what we did for the most part. I loved the charity from the people, feeding us wherever we went. They share with everyone! I also love their love and friendship, I made new friends literally everyday! And I loved the fact that they were rarely judgmental of others- if anyone was different, had a disability, or dressed different, no one would judge or make fun of another person, they accept everyone for who they are. (Smith)
- It’s a beautiful place and the people are familiar with the Gospel. (Alika)
- The people are very humble here. They love the Lord and are grateful to him for all that they have. They are the third poorest country in the world, but the people are happy (voted the happiest people in the world). Usually there is not much hunger here because gardens grow well. They not only eat what they grow, they can sell their excess and make a little money. They are very smart. Most people can speak a minimum of four languages- their native tribal language, Bislama, the national language, English and French. But very few are what we call educated. Many adults do not have more than a 6th grade education, which is what the government will pay for. After that they have to pay for their own education. (VaLynne)
- The people in New Cal are so nice. Many were welcoming and some were just out of this world. I’ve never had so much fun in my life. (Lopiseni)
- Almost everything, there is simply not enough room or battery life in my device to give a full report. (Beaumane)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- Depends on what kind of person you are. I made 4 white shirts and 2 pairs of slacks last my whole mission. But I had companions that went through 20+ shirts. Just know, it’s a jungle environment so you’re clothes snag on things and can tear. (Braeden)
- Wrinkle resistant shirts (some areas don’t have irons). Closed toed Sandals (have shoes for zone conferences and important meetings), dry-fit socks, and bring extra clothes to help the people (if you want). I gave many pairs of pants, white shirts, and ties to people who needed them (church leaders, recent converts, deacons, teachers, priests, etc.) Besides the main islands, dress clothes are very hard to come by, so we gave away many of our clothes and learned how to use less or have our families send more. (Smith)
- Bring short sleeve shirts. (Alika)
- Pack lightly. Don’t bring more than one check-in and one carry-on. Besides the lack of space, if you serve in the Port Vila area (rather than the New Caledonia or Solomon Islands) you will be flying between the islands of Vanuatu (Missionaries are on 8 of the islands). When flying to another island you can take only 10 kgs check-in (22 lbs) and 5 kgs (11 lbs) carry-on. (VaLynne)
- Follow the handbook. But if you’re looking for a little more authentic experience. Wait until you reach the field before you really start to adjust. (Lopiseni)
- Yes, leave your large luggage at the APs, ZLs house or Mission Home when traveling to an area in the outer islands. Take two or three full outfits, hygiene gear and lots of garments + a backpack with your study and teaching materials. This will save your life. You will regret your 100lb+ suitcase when you find out you have to hike with it for three hours to your flat. So pack smart and pack light when traveling to the outer islands. You can always pick up/store things from/in your suitcase when you see the ZLs. (Beaumane)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- Friends and family in another county. Greater appreciation for the blessings of America. (Braeden)
- I really learned the blessings that come from being obedient, it was hard for me at first. I learned how to be happy with less. For the majority of my mission, I served in primitive areas where we had no electricity, no running water, (sometimes no cell service) and we washed our clothes by hand and we bathed with a bucket of water and a cup. Many would see this to be a very hard lifestyle, but it actually wasn’t the case, everyone else there did the same and it put me on the same page as the people. And after doing it awhile I came to appreciate it and got used to it. It was lots of fun too! It was kind of like a campout! (Smith)
- Increased testimony. (Alika)
- We have had the blessing of getting to know some of the most wonderful people in the world. We also have experienced blessings of good health, and pray that will continue. Some of the blessings we have had will not pertain to the younger missionaries. One of our prayers while gone from family is that our youngest son would find an eternal companion and we would be able to go to the wedding. We will be flying in March to witness him and his fiancee being married in the Mesa Arizona Temple. We are not from Arizona, so we won’t be going home but we don’t need or want to. We will return to our mission two days after the wedding. (VaLynne)
- Too many to even count. It’s unreal the amount of blessings I’ve received and continue to receive thanks to my mission. (Lopiseni)
- It toughened me up in many ways besides spiritually and set the foundation of daily discipleship for me afterwards. Lots of blessings, even if you don’t realize them in the moment. (Beaumane)
What are some skills you gained?
- Leadership skills, charity, how to use a bush knife, best way to kill a chicken… etc haha. (Braeden)
- I learned how to wash my clothes by hand. I learned how to shoot well with a slingshot I learned many great leadership skills as I was a Zone Leader and an Assistant to the President. I learned the importance of obedience and the blessings that come from keeping the commandments and following the missionary rules. I learned how to live with less and to appreciate what I have at all times. I learned many language skills as I learned about 7 different languages (mostly the basics of different dialects though), I could have a small conversation with people in their native languages, especially on the island of Tanna. (Smith)
- Cooking and outdoor skills. (Alika)
- We have learned so much about the PEF/ Self-Reliant Programs as well as other programs to help the people gain an education, both through high school and post high school. (VaLynne)
- Communication for sure, but other than that, I would say the ability to study and be bold. (Lopiseni)
- Budgeting, planning, survival skills, cement mixing, carpentry, spear hunting, gardening, teaching, study habits and time management were also skills I learned out there. (Beaumane)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- Bislama is possible to learn and they don’t really care if you mess up so speak up! (Braeden)
- Haha, I wish that I knew that I would be learning a language as the mission call said it was English-speaking. There are no teachers at the MTC who teach it either, so it wasn’t until we got to the mission field that we learned that we would be going through our 12-week training and also be studying and learning the language (Smith)
- Teaching skills and how to ask inspired questions. (Alika)
- EVERY Missionary couple who has come here to Vanuatu has had 3 days training with their supervisors in New Zealand, except us. We are Education Specialists, which is a new calling- they didn’t even know what to do with us at the Provo MTC, and we did not get any training in Auckland. I really wish that all senior couples could go to the Aukland MTC where all the supervisors for Education, PEF/Self-Reliant Missionaries, Humanitarian Missionaries, and auditors for this part of the world, could get at least a week of training from our immediate supervisors. (VaLynne)
- Nothing. Going into your mission with a blank slate is probably the best thing that you could do. I think some people do way too much and end up being under or overwhelmed once they hit the field. (Lopiseni)
- Took up the offer to learn to drive and not be so picky. One way to love the people and to have them love you back is to man up and eat the food, no matter how different it may taste or look at first. (Beaumane)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Port Vila?
- First of all, you are a very lucky missionary! These people are going to love you no matter what, but you have to earn their respect. So always act like a missionary. You see great blessings come from this. (Braeden)
- 1st- Love the People!!!!! 2nd- Don’t Complain (always have a good attitude) 3rd- BE OBEDIENT! These three things really helped me on my mission. Especially being obedient as the more obedient I became, the more success I had. (Smith)
- Be ready to work. Obedience will be the best way for you to learn the language. Be glad. Souls are ready, they don’t know it, so you have to invite them! (Alika)
- When you get your call you will be told it is an English-speaking mission, but it will also mention Bislama, but it will not be taught in the Provo MTC. Go online and Google Bislama. Learn what you can. The vowels are the same as Spanish vowels. Each vowel is always the same and always pronounced. Bislama doesn’t have a lot of words for the same thing like English does. Examples in English we have home, house, apartment, etc. Bislama has house. For night we have night and evening. Bislama has night. So we say “Good evening” for a greeting and “Good night” to say good-bye. Vanuatuans will say, “Good evening” for both hello and goodbye at that time of night. Also Family Home Evening is called Family House Night. By the way it gets dark at 5:30 in the winter and 6:00 in the summer. Expect a very hot humid Christmas because seasons are opposite from north of the equator. New Zealand south of Vanuatu, Australia west of Australia, Fiji East of Australia, all go on Daylight Savings Time, Vanuatu does not. Tabu is both “forbidden” and “holy” so when you see a sign on a tree that says “tabu” it is not saying it is a holy tree, it is saying it is forbidden to climb! Most trees here you can climb and it is not unusual to see a picture a missionary had taken of him going up to get a coconut. (VaLynne)
- Go and have fun. Doing the Lord’s work and serving these people will be the greatest thing that you’ve ever done in your whole lifetime. It’s so crazy to think that when you get back, we’ll know the exact same people and have some similar stories that will rock this world. (Lopiseni)
- Exercise, most of you won’t get the privilege of car. Learn to talk, a closed mouth never gets fed. Talk things out with your companions. Try to actively speak your mission language, don’t get offended if someone corrects you, they’re trying to help. Humility is key. (Beaumane)
What was a funny language mistake?
- In bislama when you say something is dan (done), it means it’s cooked. And finis means done or finished. One day I was talking with some members about an elder that served their previously and they asked me if he was still serving and I said he was done. “Hemi dan finis” which means “he’s already cooked” so they all got a laugh out of that haha. (Braeden)
- I was on the island of Tanna where I learned many of the languages around the island (just the basics). I went to another area to “Whitegrass” where I only knew a little of their language (Nata Language). Some Members were working hard and I told them “Akuata Mapes” which means “Sit Down and Rest” in the Southwest “Naha” language. The mothers just laughed and I asked why they were laughing and they said “You just told us to sit down and flatulate!” So apparently “Mapes” means rest in the “Naha” language but means flatulate in the “Nata” language.” I was a little embarrassed, but they were surprised I was speaking their language so they just laughed and joked about it. (Smith)
- My comp meant to say, “Face-to-face” he ended up saying “Bottom-to-bottom” haha. It was great! (Lopiseni)
- When referring to a tin can, don’t use “can” in Bislama. Use tin instead. For example, don’t say “canned” tuna or tuna “can.” Instead, say “tin” tuna. Why? Well, let’s say the other is seriously profane. So saying tin will save you from offending and possibly getting beat up. (Beaumane)